Land opens for public use in Lewis County

Old Trace Creek WMA is situated in Lewis County near the Carter County line. -

FRANKFORT – Land in Lewis County has been opened for public use by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Old Trace Creek Wildlife Management Area is a 323-acre property near Emerson close to the Carter County line. Hunting in the area will be allowed under statewide regulations.

According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the property was purchased with Kentucky Wetland and Stream Mitigation “Fee-In-Lieu of” Program funding for stream restoration. The FILO program is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to permanently protect stream restoration project sites through the acquisition of properties like the Old Trace Creek area. No general fund tax dollars or department license dollars were used.

“With the stream restoration project almost complete, the area is being opened for the public to enjoy,” said Mike Hardin, assistant Fisheries Division director with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “Not only is this project improving stream habitat, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are being provided with a new place to enjoy.”

Old Trace Creek WMA is about 95 percent forested with the remaining 5 percent being open land primarily full of creek drainages where stream restoration efforts are nearly complete. Visitors will encounter moderate to steep terrain with forested ridges and benches.

“There is abundant opportunity for game species as most of this track is made up of upland oak forest,” said Nathan Gregory, coordinator of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Northeast Wildlife Region. “Turkey, squirrel and deer are going to be the big three. There’s the possibility of some rabbit and grouse as well.”

To access Old Trace Creek WMA, take Exit 156 off Interstate 64, turn left on Kentucky 59 and travel about 6 miles to Old Trace Creek Road/Old Trace Creek Hill Road. Turn left and travel approximately one mile. The property is mostly on the right, with one small tract on the left that offers access to the creek. The property features three small parking areas off Old Trace Creek Road.

The property is free for the public to access. Hunters must have the proper licenses and permits. These are available online at or at numerous vendors where sporting goods are sold.

Kentucky’s spring turkey season opens April 14 and continues through May 6. Kentucky’s squirrel season opens May 15 and continues through June 15.

Old Trace Creek WMA is situated in Lewis County near the Carter County line. Trace Creek WMA is situated in Lewis County near the Carter County line.